Individual Project Assessment
In today’s increasingly complex and competitive business environment, projects can often get off-course, with negative financial, strategic and operational consequences. For such troubled projects, ELG can analyze what has gone awry and determine which course corrections will be most helpful in “righting the ship.”
All ELG Project Assessments consider 4 key “Success Levers” — Governance/Strategic Control, Structure, Process and Skills. Each one of these Success Levers is critical to achieving project goals, but we start with Governance/Strategic Control and Structure because they set the stage for project performance.
Project Governance & Strategic Control
By Project Governance and Strategic Control, we mean the organizational and decision-making context within which the project is functioning. Depending on the type and size of the organization, there will be an appropriate mechanism for corporate oversight, resource allocation and support.
While ELG’s Assessments of an organization’s overall Project Management Capability focus heavily on how well and how consistently the organization uses Project Governance & Strategic Control, our Individual Project Assessments treat the subject with a somewhat lighter touch. We do, however, make sure that we understand how well the organization is structured to support and monitor projects and how well those functions are being performed on the subject project.
By Project Structure, we mean the accountability and authority context within which the project is functioning. We have found that without crystal clear roles, accountabilities and authorities (for everyone on the project and everyone they are accountable to — including the project’s sponsor, steering board, etc.), a project can drift or perform at a sub-optimum level. This is especially true in today’s increasingly complex environment of cross-functional management, service level agreements, resource pools, program offices, and so on.
We therefore look closely at the goals and measurements (of the project and of individual team members) to determine how well aligned they are to corporate goals. We believe we are unique in the way we focus on these “Whole Goals™” — a key underpinning of project management success. We are also unique in the tools and perspective we bring to this subject. (See the description of our “Project Focusing System™.”)
Project Management Processes
Once we have determined how clearly defined, understood and aligned are the goals and measures of performance for the Project Manager, each project team member, and all stake holders, we turn our attention to the tools, techniques and methodologies used to manage the project. Scheduling, budgeting and tracking tools and procedures are particularly important in this phase of the assessment. Without the proper navigation instruments, it’s impossible to stay on course. Our assessment will evaluate the effectiveness of your project management tools and procedures and point out improvements (which are suitable for and sustainable in your organization) to maximize their effectiveness.
Project Management Skills
The fourth requirement for project success is the skill of the project team members, and particularly, the project manager. Project management requires a unique blend of skills, including the Project Management Institute’s 9 “Knowledge Areas,” as well as leadership and the ability to master details while seeing the big picture. Our assessment will evaluate how knowledgeable and skillful your key players are in the art and science of project management and whether additional project management training is called for.
Individual Project Assessments can be performed at the start of a project, part-way through a project or after project completion. Prior to project launch, ELG Project Assessments may be useful to assure that critical projects are launched successfully. For projects that are not running smoothly, ELG Project Assessments can identify the requirements and direction for midcourse corrections. And for projects that have already been completed (perhaps without complete success), ELG Project Assessments can identify and document important lessons learned.